The title of my movie is called, “Mario Chronicles: The Great Great Grandson.”
The basic story that unfolds from this flash project is an altered episode from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros series. Indeed, I am a Super Mario fan, but my main reason in telling this story is to incorporate some kind of inter-textual humor with Super Mario’s World. So I ended up fusing the Super Mario platform dynamics with bits and pieces of two other franchises (SNK Playmore’s Metal Slug and Nintendo’s Pokemon series). Thus my two key characters of my flash animation are Bowser and Mario.
For the project, I mainly used my graphic symbols for the static objects in the animation and movie clip symbols for objects that are frequently moving and dynamic. In this, my reusuable symbols are the graphic and video clips of my key characters, Princess Peach, the pipes, question mark box, a coin, bazooka. A good example of this is Mario’s walking and jumping animations, where I used several varying instances of Mario’s movement to create a movie clip that can be motion tweened to depict his actions.
In terms of the animation creation itself, I thought the most frustrating and rewarding part is gathering the chunks and pieces of symbols and sound effects you want. Throughout this process I applied the search techniques I learned from our previous DIY project. Nevertheless, it still took the most time in the creating process. Though much of everything I used in my animation aren’t exactly hand-drawn by myself, almost every graphic I downloaded (besides the background) had to be tweaked, re-colored, re-sized, reformatted…etc (in Photoshop) to provide the palette of symbols I needed. Most of my Super Mario franchise sound effects come from Dan “Deezer” W.’s dedicated Mushroom Kingdom web site while the rest are from graphic community websites such as graphic archive DeviantArt, independent artist community VisualizeUs, and the Metal Slug fan-based site, Metal Slug Database Forum.
For this project, I chose to use a new animation technique that builds off what we have learned already in class. This technique is called the “earthquake effect” that occurs during the animation before Bowser enters the animation. I first came across user Learn2Flash’s animation tutorial blog, Learn2Flash. The tutorial laid out all the steps until the part where a code must be inserted into the timeline. I was literally about to follow this tutorial when Dr. Delwiche sent us an email about not using code snippets (whew!). So I did another round of search and oddly found this question and response on a news and life forum called Life is Beautiful. This source briefly suggested the idea of shifting the entire animation up and down. But the frustrating thing was that I could not select all my symbols (even when I have clicked on every possible symbol on the timeline countless times at that particular frame). Thankfully, I found this professional graphic design site by Design: Talkboard called Design Talkboard, where their article explained how to select all the symbols in an animation and move or re-size them. So I finally learned to use the “edit multiple frames” option located next to the onion skin tool to allow the “select all” function to actually work. The whole process of implementation took me around a hour.
As for adding sound clips into the animation, I found it pretty intuitive since I’ve had some experience with Photoshop and Premiere. However, I still did watch half of a Youtube Video tutorial on How to Add Sound in Flash by user Spykr. Mostly I just jumped to the part where the tutorial indicates the “properties” tab and “edit sound envelope” icon. As for the rest, I quickly figured it out. The learning process here probably only took me around 5 minutes to understand it. Nevertheless, my animation has alot of sound effects and probably took a total 25 minutes to edit.
So if I had a time machine and did the project all over again, I probably would have done two things differently. First of all, I would organize my library from the very beginning so that I won’t waste any time looking for the correct “referenced” symbols embedded inside different movie clips. Secondly, I probably would remember to standardize the sizes of all my various symbols from the very beginning so that I would not have to re-size each symbol after I’ve already made a number of adjustments to individual instances.